Saturday, July 25, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 episode 20, 21 and 22

Concluding my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3...

*** SPOILERS ***

A20: A New World (written by Jefrey Bell, airdate 5/6/02)
A21: Benediction (written by Tim Minear, airdate 5/13/02)
A22: Tomorrow (written by David Greenwalt, airdate 5/20/02)

These final three episodes really are the arc that deals with the return of Connor and how the ramifications effect Angel and the team. We've already had the alienation of Wesley due to the perceived betrayal that lead to Holtz taking the baby. Now, Connor is back - a grown teenager - and hell-bent on taking revenge on a man he was raised to hate. The fact that the boy fights as well and so similarly as his biological father drives home the point of how much the two are alike despite the fact that they've been apart so long (okay, three weeks from Angel's view, sixteen years from Connor's).

Great stuff between Lilah and Wesley as she tries to woo him over to Wolfram and Hart. W&H meanwhile isn't satisfied with things and makes an attempt of their own to get the returned young man. All that stuff worked for me.

What didn't work was a lot of episode 20 with Connor and the drug dealer and the junkie. I just felt a lot bored with some of that one. Maybe it was, in part, the quick-fix of returning the boy to the fold all grown up. Kind of reminded me of what old sitcoms used to do with quick aging of younger siblings between seasons from infants to adorable kids. Sure, this show had the built in "time passes differently in some hell-dimensions", as evidenced from the episode "Anne" back on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Still, it just kind of mared a good bit of episode 20 for me.

That is, until Holtz is revealed to be back too. He brings about a totally different thing. His complex view at justice and vengeance is played out so well in episode 21. And we get Justine back to play a part in it, with all her mix of emotions for Holtz that were left behind when he split with the child to his sudden return, etc. What he has her do in the end - all in the name of using "love" to hurt Angel is just so amazingly twisted. Loved it.

Of course, episode 22 is all about the fall-out. Groo decides it is finally time to get out of the way as he realizes how much Cordy cares for Angel. What a noble guy. Loren, too, feels the need to move on - most likely in part due to Connor's extreme reaction to his being a demon. He cared for that infant so much and clearly was so hurt by it. I am certain he'll be back - love the character too much for him to be gone. Wesley, meanwhile, is tired of Lilah's head-games as she is really starting to get to him - but is sex with her really the answer? It just goes to show how far Wes is falling, how dark his character is turning based on his actions. This is nice to see though as it is an aspect of the character we haven't had yet. Look forward to more of that.

And, lastly, the love between Angel and Cordelia. It has been building progressively over the seasons - unspoken but there. They've known each other the longest and thus the connection. But, those final scenes - after Connor bests Angel in a fight and prepares his revenge with the help of Justine, and with Cordelia not making it to their get-together in time because of the return of Skip and his telling her that it is time for her to move on to the next level. Powerful stuff here. As she rises to the heavens, Angel is sinking to the depths of the ocean in a most horrid deathtrap for an immortal. Very striking visuals, played so well against one another. What a cliffhanger for season 3. I am so glad I don't have to wait the months the viewers did to continue the story. That would have been so painful.

All in all, an outstanding season. The cast has gelled quite nicely and the storylines have been hitting on all cylinders.

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